Trauma registries are being used increasingly as resources for monitoring trauma care. As a result of rapid diffusion, these information systems tend to differ from one another in several important respects, including operational case criteria, data content and definitions, and coding format. Participants in a 2 1/2-day workshop held in January 1988 at the Centers for Disease Control addressed the need for standardizing trauma registries. The workshop brought together a multidisciplinary group of researchers, medical practitioners, and health planners and administrators. The participants formulated responses to specified questions and drafted a set of trauma registry data elements. Results from the meeting provide the basis for the Centers for Disease Control's recommendations described in this article.